The Fantasy Football Feature is back! Regular readers that were around last season may recall this fantasy football discussion and open thread of sorts prior to each weeks' games. Here's the first offseason edition of the Fantasy Football Feature.
The Manning Impact - The question regarding the new destination of Peyton Manning dominated headlines for weeks on end. Ultimately, he ending up with the Denver Broncos. It was easily one of the biggest stories of the offseason. The fantasy football implications are fairly large as well. Regardless of where Manning landed, his neck was a concern. But if we're willing to assume he can stay a healthy, Manning may bounce right back to being Manning. This, after all, is the same guy referred to as "Mr. Consistent" by avid fantasy players. Of course, the impact doesn't stop at fantasy QB. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker went from having Tim Tebow arm punt them the ball to Manning, who's made an elite career out of making mediocre receivers look like great ones, at least as far as fantasy points are concerned. With these things said, I'd still be hesitant on draft day. If you can get Manning for value, it could pay off big, but over paying here could be quite a risk. If you miss the run on QBs and can't get a QB from around the top ten (among that position), I'd start considering Manning.
Rookie of the Week: Robert Griffin III - Since the vast majority of readers are Browns fans, I'll first state that you shouldn't let that influence your fantasy football decisions. With that out of the way, draft this guy. Robert Griffin III has extremely high fantasy potential. His skill set at the quarterback position is ideal for fantasy football. Granted, he's a rookie and he's not exactly surrounded by other talent. But when drafting a backup fantasy QB, he's to good to pass up. This also assumes value is taken into consideration. Don't draft him to be your starter unless you're in a 20-team league. The potential is there though and if he is in fact the real deal, you may end up plugging him in as your permanent starter.
Brown of the Week: Greg Little - I think Greg Little has sleeper potential. I won't say he's definitely a sleeper, however. I think his success depends a lot on Brandon Weeden, as well as the supporting cast at WR, even with the new edition of Josh Gordon. As the best WR on the team, if Little is facing double coverage in every sure passing situation, that could be an issue. Still, if Weeden is the QB that justifies where he was drafted, the Browns could have a nice thing going in the passing game. The plus side to Little is that you can probably land him with one of your last picks in your fantasy draft, as long as fellow Browns fans aren't thinking the same thing.
Tip of the Week: Player Hoarding - This may be obvious to some and not-so-obvious to others. Claim them or play against them. You need to pick up every good player that you have room for regardless of position. That sounds simple enough, but in practice, it can be more complicated. Here's an example: It's 2010, you're already got it made at running back but Arian Foster just completely wrecked the Colts for over 230 yards and three touchdowns, over 40 fantasy points from one unknown back in one week. You absolutely drop your Mr. Irrelevant and make a claim on Foster. This might be more common at a position like QB, where after your sure thing starter's bye week, you think you'll never need another quarterback. If there is a 2011 Cam Newton on the wire, you make your claim. You should take fliers on potential, players with single-week flashes of brilliance. A lot of times they won't pan out. Those are the ones you drop for the following week's potential. Working the wire wins championships. Unless you have a Dream Team, you should be making claims every week and have a constant rotation of at least a few players. Many leagues vary though, so I understand that this may be more difficult in leagues with very shallow depth charts. Despite that, if the effort is made, I think this relatively simple concept can have a big impact.
Just as with the regular season editions of the Fantasy Football Feature, feel free to treat this as an open thread on the topic of fantasy football. Talk about the players mentioned above or any of your own sleepers, strategies, ect...